This chapter studies Lu Xun's affinity for the so-called “literatures of enchantment”—fables, myths, and supernatural tales. While initially invoking the magical and otherworldly, his revisions of old fables almost invariably reveal a world similar to that of his earlier vernacular stories, a world devoid of enchantment. The characters in his old tales operate without a mission and seem bereft of a soul; they turn their backs on the divine, destroy paradise, and resurrect the dead. Lu Xun seems to suggest that if vestiges of tradition should be resuscitated as forms of amusement or for questionable moral purposes, then perhaps those remains would be best left behind.
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